IPAC meeting on new register: No breakthrough …EC poised to compile new register

Yesterdays crunch meeting between the Electoral Commission (EC), the Eminent Advisory Committee (EAC) and the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) over the compilation of a new voter register ended inconclusive.

This is because after nearly six hours of deliberations, which nearly ended in a scuffle, there was no consensus as to whether the EC should proceed with the planned exercise or abort it.

The advisory committee would therefore review presentations made by various stakeholders in favour and against the exercise and subsequently advise the EC on its next steps. No timelines were communicated to the media.

Justice Emile Short, chairman of the advisory committee, who looked exhausted after the meeting, declined to comment on what transpired while neither EC chair, Jean Mensa nor her deputies were available for comment.

Meanwhile the Inter-Party Resistance against New Voter Register has said it would go ahead with its planned protest at the EC on February 4, to drum home their demands.

Albeit the meeting was held in camera, the Ghanaian Times gathered that it was intense and nearly resulted in a scuffle but for the intervention of some members of the Advisory Committee and a prayer that weathered the storm.

The meeting, started at 10 am, had heavy police presence. Personnel from the Formed Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service had been stationed at vantage points at the Coconut Groove Hotel, the venue for the meeting.

 While two of their vehicles were parked outside the main gate of the hotel, some personnel with handheld scanning devices were positioned at the conference room entrance to scan participants before they entered the room.

Interacting with journalists after the meeting, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketsia said the EC could not make a case for a new register as it did not doubt the credibility of the register.

He said the EC could not raise any issue against the data, insisting that whatever the EC wanted to do was purely technical and could be done without compiling a new voter register.   

For him , the EC’s indication  that the register would be ready by November 8, 2020, would have dire impact on the election since the register was supposed to be ready before filing of nominations while the various parties were supposed to be given copies 21 days before the election.

The 2016 Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) , Peter Mac Manu, said the party had been consistent with its call for a new register since 2012 and that “nothing has changed’’.

He said although the EC could accept inputs from various political parties, the final decision rested on the EC and that all parties should allow the commission to perform its mandate.

The NDC representatives at the meeting included, Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; Deputy General Secretary, Peter Otokunor and National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi.

Representing the New Patriotic Party (NPP) included John Boadu, General Secretary; Nana Boakye, National Youth Organiser; Sammy Awuku, National Organiser and Communication Director, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah.

Also present were General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah; Akua Donkor, founder and leader of Ghana Freedom Party.

Hassan Ayariga, founder and leader, All People’s Congress; the founder and leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Akpalu were not missing on the long list of participants.

Archbishop of the Cape Coast Archdiocese, Archbishop Charles Palmer- Buckle; former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey, founder of Action Chapel International Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams were also at the meeting.


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